Arsenal completed the signing of 17-year-old former Feyenoord midfielder Salah-Eddine Oulad M’hand on a free transfer this week.
Arsenal confirmed the signing of Salah-Eddine, known as ‘Salah’, on a free transfer from Feyenoord on Saturday morning. They write that the player will join up with the Professional Development Phase (u18s to u23s) this season.
A creative central midfielder, Salah was previously playing in the Netherlands with Feyenoord. He’s a box-to-box midfielder who considers himself fairly ambidextrous and wants to contribute defensively.
Arsenal swooped to sign him up on a professional contract days after his 17th birthday this week.
Despite his age, Salah had already featured at u21 level for Feyenoord this season. He played the full 90 minutes against Roda JC u21s on his debut in January. For the most part, however, he spent the season between the u17s and the u19s.
In his final appearance for the Feyenoord youth teams, Salah scored an equaliser against Ajax u19s. He then left the club and was briefly linked with a move to Ajax during lockdown before the eventual move to Arsenal instead.
— Dan Critchlow (@afcDW) August 22, 2020
Salah on swapping Feyenoord for Arsenal
Speaking to the Arsenal website, Salah explained how the move came about:
“They first contacted my dad and then I went there for a week just to see what the club is all about, and after that they didn’t really have to say anything. I immediately knew that it was the right club for me.
“It feels great to join a massive club like Arsenal. It’s a good environment for me to work on my development and hopefully, through the academy, I can become a first-team player.
“My first impressions were that not only are my teammates really good footballers, but they’re great people as well. The whole environment is positive and it’s lovely to work with them.”
As for next season, Salah is still young enough to play with the Arsenal u18s. But he’s hoping to quickly make the step up to the u23s.
“First I want to become an important player in the under-23s and then eventually get involved with the first team in some capacity,” Salah said.
“I want to see what that’s like, but above all else, I want to have a really good season with the under-23s. Maybe if I do that then I’ll be able to join the first team here and there in training. Those are my targets.”